Johnson & Johnson (J&J), one of the world’s leading healthcare companies with more than 140,000 employees and contractors worldwide, is focused on having a comprehensive data backup strategy to ensure compliance, disaster recovery readiness, and business continuity. As J&J experienced exponential business growth, it needed a simple, low-cost solution to archive data of workers’ virtual desktops to meet compliance and legal regulations, with requirements for a retention period of more than 20 years. Needing a cloud-based solution to archive large amounts of data in a cost-efficient manner, J&J turned to Amazon Web Services (AWS) to optimize the current storage cost structure for sustainable data backup without any disruption to the current processes.
Opportunity | Democratizing Data Access for Over 45,000 Workers Using AWS
J&J has been leading the healthcare industry in public cloud adoption for almost a decade and has been using Amazon WorkSpaces for seven years. Amazon WorkSpaces helps J&J to quickly deploy secure, reliable, and scalable persistent virtual desktops. As one of the main use cases, Amazon WorkSpaces provides fast and secure access for over 45,000 J&J non-employees and employees who are required to access J&J resources in a secure manner at any location from any device of their choice. Amazon WorkSpaces leverages core AWS services such as compute from Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and storage volumes from Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS). The joint compute and storage solution helps Johnson & Johnson to scale up as required for new hires and growth.
As a leader in the healthcare industry, J&J is subject to compliance laws and regulations. To assure compliance, J&J uses Amazon EBS Snapshots to store copies of associates’ virtual desktops. Some snapshots have an indefinite storage life and are infrequently accessed. For several years, J&J was able to absorb the costs of keeping snapshot data in an active storage tier. As J&J experienced exponential growth in business and the volume of data, it became very costly for the company to retain petabytes of data in snapshot storage, especially infrequently accessed data.
J&J wanted a cost-effective solution that would allow it to retain the cold data for a long period of time for compliance and regulations without alteration or deletion of the data. Moreover, J&J wanted an “AWS native” solution that would integrate easily into its existing infrastructure, instead of introducing the risk of a third-party solution which would require vetting and a long period of time to validate and deploy.
Amazon EBS Snapshots Archive not only meets our technical and compliance requirements, but also ensures that our cost for storage of snapshots is sustainable for years to come.”
Senior Manager, Johnson & Johnson
Solution | Meeting Legal and Compliance Regulations Using Amazon EBS
“We were looking for a simple, end-to-end AWS native capability that would enable cost-effective, long-term retention of snapshots and help us address our compliance requirements for long-term retention of virtual desktops,” says Gaurav Kapoor, senior manager at J&J.
Working with the Amazon EBS service team, the IT team at J&J was able to provide requirements and a business case for the Amazon EBS service team to build into a new EBS snapshot archival service. The collaboration resulted in a plan that would migrate over 100,000 existing snapshots into Amazon EBS Snapshots Archive—a storage tier that is used for low-cost, long-term storage of rarely-accessed snapshots that do not need frequent or fast retrieval. “Amazon EBS Snapshots Archive not only meets all our technical and compliance requirements, but also ensures that our cost for storage of snapshots is sustainable for years to come,” says Kapoor. The new storage tier offers up to 75 percent lower snapshot storage costs for snapshots that you plan to store for 90 days or longer and that rarely require access.
Taking the existing backup and retrieval workflow into consideration, the J&J IT team collaborated with AWS on scripts using AWS Lambda for the migration to EBS Snapshots Archive. The team worked to understand how to throttle the migration to EBS Snapshots Archive with the goal of making the migration quick and non-disruptive.
As part of the migration, J&J developed a process to retrieve the archived snapshots if there is a request for forensic analysis. When the snapshot retrieval process is completed, alerts are generated to inform follow-up actions. Given the infrequent retrieval of the archived snapshots, the SLA of J&J’s lines of business was revised compared to standard snapshots while focusing on cost optimization.
Outcome | Archiving Petabytes of Data to Achieve Annual Savings of Over $1M
J&J achieved its goal of migrating 100,000 snapshots in less than 2 months without any disruption to its processes. The economic impact of Johnson & Johnson’s snapshot migration to EBS Snapshots Archive has resulted in a projected cost savings of over $1M annually.
J&J continues to utilize Amazon EBS Snapshots and Snapshots Archive to archive additional snapshots as contractors leave and the organization needs to maintain that data for compliance. Currently, J&J is using more than five petabytes of archival storage to meet compliance requirements while reducing costs.
About Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is a leading healthcare company with global operations. J&J engages in the research and development, manufacture and sale of products in the Consumer, Pharmaceutical, and Medical Devices healthcare segments.
AWS Services Used
Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) is an easy-to-use, scalable, high-performance block-storage service designed for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2).
Amazon EBS Snapshots
Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) Snapshots provide a simple and secure data protection solution that is designed to protect your block storage data such as EBS volumes, boot volumes, as well as on-premises block data.
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Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) offers the broadest and deepest compute platform, with over 500 instances and choice of the latest processor, storage, networking, operating system, and purchase model to help you best match the needs of your workload.
Amazon WorkSpaces is a fully managed desktop virtualization service for Windows and Linux that allows you to access resources from any supported device.
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